2020 was a year of lessons
It’s the perfect time of the year to look at things in hindsight. Given the twists and turns that took place in 2020, there are definitely a lot of experiences that can be drawn upon, no matter how old or young you are.
Let’s take a moment to wrap up the year by reflecting on the important lessons this year has taught us, particularly with home buying.
Housing Market Highlights from 2020
When COVID-19 hit full swing back in March, almost everything was paralyzed, including the real estate market. It became difficult for buyers to buy their homes. Moreover, sellers stopped listing.
As the world continued to battle the pandemic, the new normal arose and the market caught up with the losses from the spring. Sales in August went up about 60%. These could be attributed to the local market in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. For the final quarter of 2020, Canadian home sales remained strong with a 0.7% increase from September to October.
5 Lessons 2020 Has Taught Us About Home Buying
As you move forward into the new year, take note of these important home buying lessons from 2020.
1. Save up and get ready for emergencies
There’s no such thing as “saving up too soon,” when it comes to savings. Grow your savings early and steadily with a clear goal in mind, like saving for a down payment for your first home.
Take a step closer to financial security by building yourself an emergency fund. This’ll ensure that your “home savings” will remain untouched, especially in the case of unexpected expenses and emergencies, just like the ongoing pandemic. The rule of thumb is to build and maintain an emergency fund that’s worth at least three to six months of your living expenses. In this way, you can face stress-free home buying, regardless of what bumps you may encounter.
2. Flexibility is survival
It’s important to have a list of things you’re looking for in a new home. That’ll keep you focused and help filter out your search. Instead of looking for a home without issues, look for a home that works for you. Be open to changes and make adjustments. Pipe leaks can be deal-breakers, whereas wall colours can be easily changed.
3. Technology is your friend
2020 made everyone adapt to the new normal. Even home buying looks different now. E-signatures, virtual home tours and digital deposits weren’t maximized before; but now, these have become a necessity.
4. Know your numbers
A strong knowledge of your financial situation will always be an advantage, whether facing an unexpected emergency or buying a new home. That’ll give you the flexibility you’ll need when it comes to negotiations, goals and adapting to new situations or circumstances.
When it comes to buying a home, there are three main numbers you should know. First, your spending capacity for a down payment and closing costs; second, the amount you need for monthly mortgages, insurance, taxes and maintenance; lastly, the long-term cost of the interest over the life of the loan.
While you can always run these numbers yourself, this year taught us to always take the safest route. It’s safer to consult a professional to ensure that you have a solid analysis of your financial situation.
5. Seek a mortgage professional’s help
2020 made the world realize how things can easily get unstable and get beyond an individual’s control. This is why you need to make sure you’re allocating your resources wisely, most especially your life savings, time and energy – and in the most optimal and secured way. It’s important to seek out a mortgage broker for help and guidance.
There’s been a lot to learn from 2020 when it comes to perseverance, finances, home buying and life goals. Lives were interrupted and this year has proven that people need to pause and take the time needed to make secured decisions. This entails making financial plans, taking calculated actions and making informed decisions.
The best way to do this is by consulting an expert whom you can trust to work with as you work towards your financial and home buying goals.